Arranging Your Own Funeral: Burial or Cremation?

Arranging your own funeral is very different from planning a memorial service for someone else. It’s an incredibly nuanced and emotional process that’s filled with difficult choices. In fact, planning your own funeral is very different from anything you’ll ever do. At Capital Life Funeral Plans, we understand how daunting that can be.

Instead of taking you through an in-depth list of all the choices you’ll have to make when planning your own funeral, we thought we’d dedicate this blog post to the main underlying decision you’ll have to make. Do you want to be buried, or cremated?

burial or cremation

Making this one decision can trim away countless other questions you might have to wrestle with down the line. If you decide to get cremated, you don’t need to find a burial plot for example. We find that it’s best to take it one step at a time when planning your own funeral, and to try to make your own path as clear as possible.

Things to Bear in Mind with Burials

A burial is often considered the traditional route when it comes to planning your own funeral. Humans have been ritualistically burying the dead for over a hundred thousand years, and many cultures practice burials as a religious necessity. Here are a few things you should bear in mind if you’re considering a burial:

  • You must purchase the casket that you’ll be buried in and lease a burial plot. The ownership rights to a grave always remain with the local council or landowner. You can lease the rights to be buried in a cemetery of your choice by taking out a grave deed, which are valid from 50 – 99 years;
  • It’s possible to transfer a grave deed to a beneficiary in your will. Many individuals do this so loved ones can be buried together in a family plot, which usually accommodates between 2 – 5 people;
  • Most cemeteries in the UK are non-exclusive to a single denomination and can perform burials for many belief systems. You will have to inform the council of any specific burial requirements, however;
  • The cost of a burial in the UK varies anywhere from roughly £1,600 to above £18,000.

Things to Bear in Mind with Cremations

Cremations are increasingly popular in the UK, where as much as 75% of deaths result in cremation. It’s often considered the modern alternative to burials, but humans have been practising cremation of the dead for almost 50,000 years. Here are a few things you should bear in mind as you’re planning your own funeral:

  • You’ll still need to purchase a casket for cremation, and an urn too. People typically spend less on coffins for a cremation as the body and casket are burned together. The urn is the vessel that ashes are collected in, and this often takes precedent;
  • Your executors will have to fill out several forms to apply for and authorise your cremation. This is usually straightforward, but it’s worth considering while you’re planning your own funeral;
  • You won’t have to purchase a grave lease if you get cremated, but you will have to decide if you’d like your loved ones to keep your ashes or to scatter them in a familiar place;

Planning Your Own Funeral with Capital Life Funeral Plans

Capital Life Funeral Plans is one of the UK’s leading pre-paid funeral plan providers. We provide a helpful service to customers across the UK, and we’d love to support you as you set about planning your own funeral.

If you’d like some more information, read our previous blog post Four Steps in Planning a Funeral. Or, contact us directly with any other questions including information on Wills, Inheritance Planning, Probate, and LPAs. Our friendly customer service team is ready to answer any questions you might have about planning your own funeral.